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I have made up two versions of an example using two different verbs.

(1) Tom doesn't smile much. However, my sense of humor always animates his serious attitude.

(2) Tom doesn't smile much. However, my sense of humor always reduces his serious attitude.

(3) Tom doesn't smile much. However, my sense of humor always mitigates his serious attitude.

Do any of these words fit the context?

  • You are basically asking for editing. – Lambie Jan 30 at 23:01
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Mitigate” is the only verb that fits well within the context of the sentence (your third option). You will see in the definition that one meaning of mitigate is “to cause to become less harsh or hostile”. It seems to fit in that the serious attitude of the unsmiling Tom could be made less harsh by “my sense of humor”. Two synonyms for “mitigate”, listed after that definition, are “mollify” and “soothe”, and they seem to fit the sentence very well.

Using “reduce” is possible, but not it’s not idiomatic to talk about “reducing” attitudes. (”Lessen”, being like “reduce”, might have worked better and is getting closer in meaning to “mitigate”)

Animate” seems to be the worst option. This verb carries a sense of increasing or enlivening something, making it almost an opposite of the required meaning.

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  • A very clear and detailed explanation. I like the way you are discussing the difference among the three verbs. That helps me better understand how to use them properly. Thank you. – davidtrinh Jan 31 at 2:50
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Well .. Animate means : to give spirit and support to , give life , encourage

It doesnt make sense to animate(encourage) an attitude

2.Not possible to reduce "Serious attitude" better to say **Reduce Seriousness

Im not sure about Mitigate but sounds fine

Here are some suggestions

Abate,Lessen,Decrease,Lower,Ease

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  • Your suggested words certainly work well. I really appreciate the time your spent answering my question. – davidtrinh Jan 31 at 2:51

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